Smokey Joe’s Cafe’ makes stop at Lutcher
The National 20th Anniversary Tour of Smokey Joe’s Café: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller, is coming to the Lutcher Theater on Thursday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 PM. Tickets ranging from $35-$65 are on sale now at www.lutcher.org or by calling the Lutcher Box Office at 886-5535.
This show, billed as ‘the hottest joint in town’ is directed by Tony Award nominee Chet Walker and features the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of fame group, The Coasters.
Smokey Joe’s Café is a superb tribute to legendary songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who ushered in the era of rock ‘n roll, by penning numerous songs that rose to Billboard charts in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Stylistically, their songs ranged from humorous high-energy tunes, to more somber ballads – all grounded in
rhythm and blues. As lyricists, the team became known for their storytelling ability and wit, as well as their depictions of teenage life during the era. Smokey Joe’s Cafémade its Broadway debut on March 2, 1995 at the Virginia Theatre.
During the show’s milestone run of 4 years and 11 months, the production became Broadway’s longest running musical revue, playing 2,036 performances. Smokey Joe’s Café features some 38 songs made famous by rock ‘n roll pioneers like The Drifters and Elvis Presley. Throughout his career, Presley recorded more than twenty Leiber and Stoller hits. Show songs include “On Broadway,” “Hound Dog,” “Fools Fall in Love,” “Spanish Harlem” and the show stopping “Jailhouse Rock.”
The musical’s soundtrack recording won a Grammy Award in 1996. As an added bonus, this national tour features beloved rock ‘n roll ensemble The Coasters, who also recorded over twenty Leiber and Stoller songs from “Dance with Me,” “Searchin,” “Poison Ivy,” “Yakety Yak,” “Love Potion #9” and the ever popular “Charley Brown.” They were inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 – fittingly, alongside Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.
Tony Award nominee Chet Walker directs and choreographs this production. Walker received a 2013 Tony Award nomination for the revival of “Pippin,” directed by Diane Paulus and still winning nightly ovations on Broadway. He won the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award and the Astaire Award for his choreography of the Steven Schwartz musical. Walker, a longtime associate of Bob Fosse, conceived the choreography for “Fosse,” winner of the 1999 Tony Award for Best Musical.
The full Smokey Joe’s Café cast of 14 singers and dancers perform to a live on stage musical ensemble.
Smokey Joe’s Café is sponsored locally by John Dixon and Beverly Nance.
The Frances Ann Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts is located at 707 Main, Orange.